Start-up Visa

Are you a foreign entrepreneur looking to bring your business to Canada?

Canada’s Start-up Visa (SUV) Program is intended to attract foreign entrepreneurs who wish to establish new, high-growth businesses in Canada, which will support innovation and job-creation.

To be eligible for the Start-up Visa under this stream, entrepreneurs must be accepted into a program offered by a designated Canadian business incubator.

The business incubation program application process is highly competitive. The focus is on quality, and not quantity. Prospective applicants must be ready to provide detailed information regarding the potential viability of their business venture, including business plans, financial documents, founder biographies and other relevant information as required by the designated business incubator’s application process.

Applicants under the Start-up Visa Program may apply either as a single entrepreneur, or as an entrepreneurial team of up to five members.

Please keep the following points in mind…

The proposed business must demonstrate that it is potentially viable from both a financial and market perspective. Entrepreneurs must typically have a relevant education, experience and expertise which support the success of the proposed business in Canada.

The proposed business must have access to sufficient working capital to meet its initial needs.

The entrepreneur must clearly articulate the market opportunity for their product/service offering in Canada and internationally.

The business must be past the idea stage and have a working prototype. The entrepreneur should demonstrate early technology validation and/or customer traction.

Applicants to TBDC’s Business Incubation Program must be able to locate the head office of their proposed business in Toronto and the business must be incorporated in Ontario after acceptance.

Entrepreneurs must be able to effectively communicate and work in English or French languages to conduct their business in Canada.

Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements established by the Government of Canada for the Startup Visa Program.

Each applicant must be an active member of the venture team with at least 10% of the voting rights to qualify. The combination of the applicant and the designated incubator must also hold at least 50% of the voting rights in the proposed venture to qualify. As a first step, register with TBDC under the SUV Program.

TBDC’s Business Incubation Program application process starts with a review of applications that are submitted using the form below. If applications successfully pass this initial stage, a thorough due diligence consideration of the applicants and their proposed business is required before formal acceptance by Toronto Business Development Centre.

Please note, there are no TBDC representatives outside Canada. To apply for the Start-Up Visa Incubation Program, you must submit the official application posted below.

TBDC is designated by the Government of Canada under the SUV Program.